Monday, March 31, 2008

And How Was Your Day?

Last Friday was craptacular, thank you very much!

First I need to explain that I am looking for work. My business has been really off since late fall (every one of my friends / neighbors who own a business say they same thing...something shifted last fall.) and I am suffering. I'm not even earning gas money for the car right now. The fact of the matter is, when people are struggling to afford gas and groceries, they don't "need" rubber stamps, glass tchotchkes or beads. So, I'm a girl with skills, I'll deal.

I'm going to skip the really gory details but here are the basics: I spent the entire morning waiting for a phone interview for a order taking job that I could work from home. Fifteen minutes past my interview time, I emailed and got an immediate response...they would reschedule some other time.

My afternoon was spent waiting for the teenage girl that works for me. Again, I wanted to be upbeat when she arrived... she sort of freaks when I'm distracted... so I didn't get one project on my list done. I just piddled until I realized she was an hour late. She made other plans and never called. UGH.

The creek, the source of my solace, was no picnic either. Let's just say it involved getting an ill hiker and his dogs home. He was so sick he had to lay down in the back of my jeep. This would not have been that bad if... his dogs hadn't stumbled on a homeless camp and eaten human feces right before we all loaded up. It was one very disgusting ride!

But all of that isn't what has me so pissed. It this job ad for a "Creative Associate: on Craiglist that got my dander up {The italics are my thoughts as I read the ad}:

"Looking for a creative associate to handle the development and production of web sites and tv/webshows, with an emphasis on sales. Sounds good so far right? They expect skills so they must pay, right?

Responsibilities include both personal UH OH.. and professional, including office work, answering
the phone, as well as personal errands Oh... so you're really looking for an assistant. Why didn't you just say so? and light childcare."

Childcare??? CHILDCARE???? WTF??????????? What the hell is light childcare? Either I'm responsible for the life of a child or I'm not. That is not a duty I take LIGHTLY. And furthermore, if I'd wanted to take care of kids, I would've had my own and not pawned them off on some unsuspecting person just trying to make a living that may not even have any childcare skills!

Yeah, I'm just fine in this job market...NOT! I think I'm going back to the creek to search out a spot to pitch my tent. At least the shit there doesn't come disguised as something else!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

The Alpha

Spreading your scent around is very important in the dog world. If the other dog scent is a stranger, the purpose is to mark territory and let others know you were there... a virtual doggie news broadcast.

In a pack situation, the senior / stronger dogs always cover the scent of the weaker dogs. I see this all the time hiking with Hank & Sue. Sue's scent is never allowed to be left unmarked. Usually Hank will cover it and then Mabel. If Hank goes after Mabel, she will circle back and cover his scent as well. Meaning she (and most assuredly Sue) views herself as the Alpha, the strongest dog in our pack. Hank, being the only boy sometimes likes to think he's the Alpha, but even he would agree that it's really Mabel.

The other morning, I had a huge glass of iced tea before heading out to the creek and before you know it, nature was calling my name. I am a country girl, raised hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. I have no qualms about doing my business in the great outdoors. I just find a relatively private spot and do the deed.

As I was adjusting my clothing, Mabel comes along, sniffs the ground and covered all evidence of my presence.

So, I guess we now know where I rank in the pack...

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hot Dog; Cool Treat

We had a hot Easter and Mabel got a treat.




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Sunday, March 23, 2008

l,m,n,o,...Pee

Mabel Lou, aka Killer of Kitties, aka Fighter of Coons, aka Chaser of Lizards, Squirrels and Deer, aka Dominant Alpha Dog, aka Queen of her Universe, aka The Bad Ass of [my street], still, at six years old, will submissively pee on the feet of humans that she likes. Thank God she's been outdone!

Yesterday, it seemed everyone and their mother was in the creek. It was a convention! Upon arriving at dusk, we immediately ran into a rottie and a mutt we sort of know. Then ran into another rottie we adore, Allie and her mom. As the four of us took off on one trail, trying to avoid a man and his small kids and two labs in the creek (and more importantly avoiding a canine disagreement over whose ball is who's!), we found our Rhodesian pack and their mom and a few more canine / humans we know. As everyone greeted everyone else, poor Hank suddenly became worried that some of those other pups might try to take his mom. And so he went over to her and... marked his territory! Yep, he peed all over BOTH of her pant legs.


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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Forward

Janet's recent post about people who forward emails was getting quite a bit of interest. And as my comments there grew too long to be considered polite, I decided it was a topic I would broach as well.

Janet inquired if it would hurt her reader's feelings if she pointed out that they had forwarded an email with false or misleading information. My answer would be no, but you would be hard-pressed to find one of those from me in your in box. I get several hundred emails a day and I often just hit delete if it's not from my immediate circle.

And I have been known to hit forward a few times but I NEVER send anything to my entire address book and ONLY forward something I find laugh out loud funny and then ONLY to those I know will appreciate it as much as I do. So if it passes those requirements, on it goes. And I will say, all on my list have actually told me that when they get a forward from me, they know it will be super funny.

That being said, I really hate getting forwarded emails. First of all, I've been on the net longer than everyone I know. I've seen it all.

The other forwards I hate, hate, hate seem to come from someone who recently added me to their address book. I have a bead customer who orders custom focals from me at $90 each. Within days of my answering her inquiry, here came the emails. This recently happened with an officer in an art guild I belong to as well.

I don't want either of these women mad at me but, I don't want all their junk mail either. I really would LOVE to scream at both of them, "Don't you know how to use your address books???" I really don't think people are aware you can categorize your addresses.... family and friends who don't mind getting an endless flow of nonsense and business associates who might actually not hold you in such high regard for filling their in boxes.

I don't mind jokes if they are brief but the type of forward that gets my panties in a wad are the ones that defame a business or person. You know the "Don't use Febreze... it'll kill your dog." or "Barack Obama is a Muslim," (both TOTALLY FALSE) type of crap. This misinformation hurts businesses / people / reputations and diminishes us as thinking human beings.

What are people thinking when they forward that crap on? Do they really think they are being helpful? As a former newspaper person, the second I hear / read something like that, the hair on my neck stands up. And then I go to Snopes (a database of internet misinformation) and check it out. It only takes a second.

And then I do let the sender know they are sending out false information. Maybe it is my newspaper background that makes me take untruths so seriously but others seem not to care at all.

My "aunt" (really my mom's oldest girlfriend) is one such person. After Hurricane Katrina, she would forward racially derogatory emails almost daily. And granted I was pretty stressed at the time, trying desperately to locate a missing friend. As each came in, it amazed me that such new information was already on Snopes. I would send her links and explain that her emails might dissuade people from helping those in need. And then I would get another. Exasperated, I hit "reply all" and sent the link. Boy, did that stir up a hornet's nest! My poor mother got an earful. But I did not get any more emails...ever! So my aunt is pissed at me... and I'm offended by her. C'est la vie!

The other forwards I get that I so dislike are from close friends / relatives who think hitting the forward button is actual communication! Now THIS really offends me! This happened to me with both my niece and a childhood friend. Before the internet (B.I.), we used to write actual letters and occasionally talk on the phone. A.I., all I get are forwards. I anxiously would open the email, hoping for some tidbit about their lives and it was only a forward. To everyone in their address book no less.

A few years ago, my niece actually had the gall to ask why I never respond to her emails!

"WHAT emails? You emailed and I didn't write back?"

"Well, I send you jokes and stuff all the time and I never hear from you."

I explained about my business, getting tons of emails and that honestly, I only opened her emails to see if it were "real"... something from her/ about her and not just a mass forward.

She got a bit indignant that I just delete them.

"Why would you care? They are not important. They tell me nothing about your life other than you were alive to hit the forward button. But if you ever take time to write me, I will most certainly answer you," I said a bit too indignantly myself.

I think we've spoken once in four years and no more emails either. How on earth could either of these really intelligent women think forwarding emails to me (and everyone else in their address books) implies closeness or requires an answer???

I don't have any answers here but I do wish more people - especially internet newbies or infrequent users - would study up on netiquette a bit before forwarding so much junk.


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Monday, March 17, 2008

Doin' the Math

I was laughing on the phone with a former Executive Producer friend yesterday and somehow the topic turned to New York's deposed governor Spitzer. The single bit of the story that was strange to both of us was the fact that he spent $80,000 in eleven years on call girls. Neither of us think that's a significant number. Why? Well, let's do the math...

Assuming Mr. Spitzer was a terrible tipper which (we know he wasn't) and the average encounter cost him exactly one grand. That's 80 encounters. In eleven years. That would be roughly 7.27 encounters per YEAR. Even if the 80 grand were spent in fewer years as some reports indicate...let's say two years. That's roughly three trysts per month.

But when you take into account the recent rendezvous, for which he paid $4300, if that number is averaged into the 80,000, that's roughly 18 encounters. Using the lesser length of time, that's still not even once a month.

As one anthropologist, brought onto it's-morning-so-we-don't-have-to-think-t.v.-news to speak as to why men cheat, stated (paraphrased): Mr. Spitzer has a thick brow line and high powerful cheekbones signaling lots of testosterone. Men like that need a lot more sex.

Apparently, not even once a month more.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Self Portraits

The other morning, I was just fascinated by the way our shadows looked in the creek with the early morning sun at our backs. I couldn't wait to get back there with my camera. Finally! A photo of me I like!

Her & Me


Us - A Self - Portrait

The Kiss

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why I Can't Have Anything Nice



The background of this photo that shows my once really nice backyard has me reminiscing a bit. My wonderful, private fence no longer looks like that. I'm afraid if archaeologists every examine my yard, they will wonder what fierce creature I kept in bondage. Uh... that would be Mabel.

Between my only neighbor feeding every stray cat in the area and living on a canal with an ample supply of critters, Mabel stays fairly busy on patrol.

When she first arrived, at four months old, and became aware of the racoons and possums and such, they terrified her. I had never heard the jump rope song "Mabel, Mabel Set the Table," when I came up with the first Mabel Lou song. (I often make up songs with my new dog's names in it to help them learn their name in a fun way. Since I always get shelter dogs, I've found they associate their name with something bad. The song is my way of changing that.) It started like this: Mabel, Mabel sleeps on my table... The poor pup was so scared of the critters, she would sleep on top of a glass table on the patio. I was really worried what would happen to her as her weight increased!

But after a month or so she started growing into the tough girl she is now. One afternoon, we both heard some critter under the deck. Mabel took off and made it to the back steps, stopped and looked over her shoulder at me. Her expression seemed to ask, "You comin'?"

"No, that's your job," I replied.

Off she went. And never looked back. If only I would have known how seriously she would take that job!

The other day, I was in the office. The windows were open on a warm afternoon. I heard Mabel on the back deck making a horrendous noise. As it intensified and suddenly sounded like she were chewing something, I took off to see what was wrong.

From the patio, I could see she was eating the deck! I yelled. Of course she didn't stop. (When will I ever learn?) So, I grabbed the camera and filmed the destruction. Here she is in all her glory.

video

After that, not believing anything was really under there, I went into the kitchen to make some lunch. When the noise changed again, I went out to inspect the damages. Here's what I found.

video

The apology you hear at the end of the video is to the possum. After that, I grabbed Miss Mabel and took her in the house until the possum left. To think I stuck my hand in there! And now my deck looks even more "lived in."


Sunday, March 09, 2008

CHA CHA CHA

OK, so I'm a little late on this year's Craft and Hobby Association Show wrap up...but better late than never, right?

I'm as surprised as anyone that I even went! It was a slow year in the shop and I'm grossly overstocked on almost everything I would buy at the show. None of my close friends (i.e. Becky) were going to be around to walk the show with me and I had honestly decided to stay home.

About a week before the show, I was asked to help out a friend and that will have to be a whole other post so, I'll skip over why I was there for now and make this about the products.

After a few lackluster product years (boy, I'm a jaded craft show producer!), this year was exceptional! I must've had my head in some strange place for a few year because I've finally heard about the Crop-o-dile. This baby punches 1/8th and 3/16th holes in just about anything and sets eyelets.

I had the great pleasure to meet Sandy Sandler and see her fabulous invention, the Bowdabra. My sister, who turns into the "Bow Queen" every holiday season would love this. It is the perfect tool for making a bow - better than the wooden dowels that I learned on by a mile! You can even make great bows from scraps of ribbon and the tool comes in two sizes.

A new glue made its debut at the show and was getting quite a bit of attention at the show but I wonder if it was only because it had a rather interesting name: Sticky Ass Glue.

One of the new product lines I fell madly in love with is the Creative Options series of crafter's luggage made by the wonderful folks at Plano Molding. The Plano folks are already experts in organization and each piece is well thought out and designed for ease of use and versatility. I'm gaga about the bead bag, the shoulder bag, and the small rolling bag (which has become my "teacher catchall" for my classes!).

And my favorite new thing ever: would you believe a kiln that works in the microwave!!????!!???! And that you can actually heat glass to fusing temperature (1500 degrees) in just three minutes!!!??? Obviously, it takes quite a while to cool off and has no real temperature control but the possibilities make my head spin!

Now, as a long time fusing instructor, I do have issues with the fact that this kiln - really just a ceramic box with a special paint inside that reacts to microwaves - doesn't really have a way to ramp down and hold the glass at the proper annealing stages. But it's not for fusing plates or large items. It will only make one large pendant or a smaller pendant with earrings in one firing. While I would never encourage anyone to sell their wares made in this kiln but for someone dabbling in fusing and just wanting to make gifts for friends, the 100 dollar price tag sure beats the cost of a small kiln!

I will be carrying these in the shop as soon as the manufacturer ships.


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